Ah, the forgotten ones! Of the 5 FBS schools located in Michigan, Eastern Michigan and Central Michigan are consistently the most overlooked. That’s probably due to Michigan State’s presence in the Big Ten as a perpetual hard-nosed, blue-collar spoiler, Western Michigan’s recent run to a New Year’s Six bowl, and the Michigan Wolverines…being the Michigan Wolverines.
But that doesn’t mean EMU and CMU can’t play ball. The Chippewas have rebounded from a mid-season 3-game losing streak, upsetting Ohio to help offset a gloomy October. Last week, they overcame Logan Woodside and the rival Western Michigan Broncos to secure a 35-28 comeback win at home, running their record to 5-4.
Eastern Michigan is favored to win its match-up with CMU on Wednesday. That’s a bona-fide Vegas mystery at first glance. EMU just snapped a months-long losing streak with a blow-out of weak Ball State. But margin-of-victory has odds-makers convinced that the Eagles’ 3-6 record is a mirage.
Who: Eastern Michigan Eagles at Central Michigan Chippewas
When: Wednesday, November 8th, 8 PM EST
Where: Kelly/Shorts Stadium, Mount Pleasant, MI
Lines: EMU (-1.5) vs CMU (+1.5) / O/U Total: 49
Eastern Michigan lost 6 in a row very recently. But the biggest margin in the sextet of games was 7 points, in a 20-13 loss to Ohio. The Eagles are perhaps the nation’s finest team that didn’t win a game over a 1-2 month span, giving hell to bowl-eligible teams like Kentucky, Army and Northern Illinois during the W/L slump.
A hard-nosed defense has carried the team at times. QB Brogan Roback is not quite as accurate or as quick-footed as many of his counterparts in the MAC, and EMU is only averaging 3.4 yards per carry.
Should CMU be the favorite? Odds-makers are discouraged by the Chippewas’ poor record at home this season, slipping past Rhode Island 30-27 and losing big to Miami-Ohio and Toledo. 3 games is not a gigantic sample-size to go on, however.
Shane Morris has struggled at QB at times, and Central Michigan’s ground game is only marginally-better than EMU’s flaccid running attack.
Morris was terrific in the 4th quarter last week, despite another sub-50% passing day. I’m liking the Chippewas to back up their superior record with a statement-win.
Also, the over is an excellent bet here as both offenses should be feeling confident.